Beware the ‘Get Rich Quick’ Schemes

Beware the ‘Get Rich Quick’ Schemes

If the internet has done one thing, it’s that it’s easier than ever for the average person to be taken in by shady hucksters and scams. I’ve finally had enough. Through moderating the Social Media Strategy community for two years, I really think I’ve seen it all when it comes to online scams, MLM Get Rick Quick schemes, Social Networks that “pay YOU to use,” and of course, self-proclaimed Social Media Gurus. Let’s go through some of the catchphrases and concepts these pseudo-marketers use to deceive the public.

“Unlimited Income!”

No limits. This is the tagline of most of these online schemes.

These products, strategies, and techniques will make you succeed beyond your wildest dreams. You want a million dollars? Too bad, you’ll be a BILLIONAIRE in just 5 years. The only thing ever holding you back from being a billionaire, is that you have not chosen to do so sooner!

Well, that sounds amazing. Sign me up. (ugh)

The offer pictured on the right is Global Domains International. Global Domains International (GDI) sells domain names and hosting, but slapped on a multi-level marketing opportunity.

Online MLM and Pyramid Schemes

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, many MLM schemes simply use the product to hide their pyramid structure.

Why is this a waste of time? Well first off, GDI only offers a .ws domain for customers. Seriously. No .com, no .org, not even a .net. Why would anyone go through them for a domain? The only thing I can really think of wanting a .ws domain for is a custom shortener that says something like [TOPIC]ne.ws – but honestly – how many of those can there be? Not only that, but the hosting costs more than other, better known hosting companies, ones with track records and guaranteed uptime. Oh, and in order to sell their services – you need to be a paying domain and hosting customer. Yikes.

“Industry Secrets!”

Empower Network Scam Landing Page

Yes. This is actually one of the actual landing pages for Empower Network members. These guys aren’t even allowed on Facebook.

“I have something to tell you. It’s the biggest secret ever in the history of [Insert Subject Here]. I learned it one day on my trek to the tip of Everest with Mark Cuban and George Soros.”

Yikes. If there was some super-secret to health, wealth and happiness, some 35 year old with a pony tail wouldn’t be giving it away in some exclusive webinar on the internet from his hotel room in Key West. Empower Network and “marketing” systems like it know nothing about proper marketing. It’s all about the show.

Fake followers, faked engagement, and the engagers that aren’t fake… are just the people that already bought into the system anyway.

As seen in the image above, Empower Network uses a similar selling point for their program as other MLMs do – highlighting challenging life stories which led to the financial success they can achieve with the program. “’Leaked’ video reveals how this once homeless ‘van man’ and ex-construction worker discovered this lucrative solution to the complicated online marketing world.”

It’s far too often I hear from past users of Empower Network that instead of being provided opportunities to learn, if you are brought into a large downline, there is little to no support, and no refund when you realize just how difficult it is to get people to sign up for a program that does not work, that sells a service with so little real value. Empower Network is successful at one thing: circulating money. EN promises 100% commissions to those people recruiting others to the program. Once again, if you look at the compensation plan, its yet another pyramid. Empower Network users have spammed so much that Facebook has blocked the domain from being shared! Avoid these guys at all costs.

“Anyone can succeed!”

Alarm bells go off when I see the promises made by Global Success Club. Claiming that any person, regardless of their knowledge, this experience, or even skill level can make $100,000 in only 90 days is ridiculous. Each of us has a variety of gifts and talents. By focusing on what we are good at, we are able to better appreciate each other and each other’s strengths. No one person has a talent for everything they do. No one can succeed at absolutely everything that they may try. That’s just not how the world works. Beware of the guru who will claim that anyone can succeed with their training, their services, or their products. If you think it sounds too good to be true – it likely is.

Be sure to ask the guru for examples of previous people who succeeded with this method. And that means asking for references and proof, not just believing the testimonials on their own websites.

Global Success Club

This one features a quote from Anthony Robbins as a tagline: “Find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

How do they fool anyone?

The number one tactic these “experts” and “gurus” will use is faking credibility. In our second part of this post on this subject, I will be diving into just how these people will fake their credibility through social media, and how you can use a few simple techniques and tricks to uncover their web of lies. Coming January 19th!

Social Media Gurus

Andrij Harasewych

Although I ended up graduating from Villanova University with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, a side passion of mine for the past decade has been business and marketing. After three years of working full time as a mechanical engineer, and part time as a freelancer, success in my freelance work motivated me to alter my path and focus fully on marketing.

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